The Black Dog

It’s four o’clock in the morning.  Time for me to get up.  I am not a runner—but I am a walker.  I throw myself into sweats and sneakers and out into the cold dark I go.

You would think pre-dawn is a quiet time. Maybe in human terms.  There’s not much traffic.  Birdsong, however, is booming.  I like having this time alone to think, even with all the raucousness of my feathered friends.  Walking now is both my exercise and my meditation.  Without it, I might lose my mind.

I’ve been walking at the local high school track for the past few months.  It took me a bit to find a time and a place that put me in the least contact with other beings.  Humans have this awful need to talk while walking…and all I walk to do is walk and let my mind wander wherever it wants to go.

I get to the track and I start walking.  I close off all but the necessary parts of my brain and just go.  Slow, steady, meandering, one foot in front of the other.  It may not look like much to anyone else, but it is what I do.  I do it because it’s all I can do at this point.  I don’t pay attention to much around me, although I keep my “spidey’ senses alert, just in case.  My intuition has never been wrong nor has it ever let me down.

About halfway through my second lap, this huge black and grey dog comes barreling up to me like we’re old friends.  I reach out to ruffle the fur around his face.  He sort of grins and keeps moving.  I like company fine if it’s quiet…and this old boy is great.  Other than huffing along with my puffing along, he keeps my sedate pace.  I find it odd, but animals are animals.  Who am I to judge?  Maybe he just likes to walk with people here.  I don’t begrudge him that.

We walk another lap and a half when my ‘spidey’ senses pop off an alert.  I snap more alert and look.  The dog has already noticed.  He’s growling deep in his chest.  I see them.  Not real clear or anything.  I see enough to know it looks like two big brutes are stalking alongside the track.  It looks as if they mean to head us off a bit further up.  The dog switches sides with me so that he is closer to them than I am.  We both keep walking the track, well past the two guys.  Thanks to the dog, the dudes keep their distance.

After that, I’m ready to go home.  The dog walks all the way back to my house.  I try to invite him in, but he won’t budge.  I bring him a bowl of water and two scrambled eggs.  It’s the least I can do.  I sit and watch him eat.  After he finishes, he licks my hand gently and off he trots, the opposite direction of the track.

I go back inside and start getting ready for my day.

It’s lunchtime when I overhear two co-workers talking about the grisly murders that happened around five in the morning out at the high school track.

Wherever you came from, wherever you are, Dog, my friend, I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and protection.  I don’t know what made you choose me, but I am glad you did.


You Don’t Own Me

I cannot tell you how much I resent all the emissaries that keep showing up at my door—at all hours—demanding that I swear allegiance to this Queen or that Queen—RIGHT NOW!  Queen of Summer.  Queen of Winter.  What do I care?  They are of the Land.  I am of the Water.  Their business is none of my own.

I have had to abandon my home, the home of my mother’s mother’s people, in order to avoid these emissaries and their nasty tactics and egregious demands.  I must have some semblance of Peace in my life.  I am a solitary thing.  I prefer to stay that way.

I decided to seek out the old breeding grounds that my mother had told me existed long before she was born….a place that had been abandoned long before her mother had been born.  Too much human interference back in those days, before the humans went away.  They left havoc, pollution, and noise wherever they went.  Perhaps now, after so many years, it would be safe to return there.

It took days of swimming, traveling, floating, drifting, but at last, I did arrive at the old breeding grounds.  There was no trace of my own kind; it had been too long ago since one of us had been to this place, much less used it for its intended purpose.  I nosed around, seeking out predators, searching for prey.  I needed to make sure I could protect myself from enemies, but I also needed to ensure my ability to eat.  I had to be able to survive here.

In the end, I noted predators, prey, vegetation, and I felt…at home.  There was a peace to be had here.  I swam down, far down, until I discovered the entrance to the lairs that had housed my kind when they were here.  A perfect hiding place.  Those Queens could send any of their people, but none of them could reach me this far out to sea, nestled this deep within the bosom of the ocean.  I was safe.

Until there came a day, many moons after my arrival, when I heard a tiny wheezy sort of noise.  One that I had once associated with humankind.  My father had once played me recordings of such things.  Humans were not supposed to exist on this planet any longer.  It had been a hundred years, at least.  And yet, as I rose forth to survey the noise, I saw what appeared to be a thin-framed, short creature.  Two legs.  Two arms.  Hairy all over his head.  He wore tattered clothing that fit him ill.  He made strange noises under his breath, as if always talking to himself.  I kept beneath the surface, simply staring, fascinated.

He leaped from his little boat onto the rocky outcrop where the seabirds nested.  He tore birds out of their nests by the throat, plucking up eggs as he came to them, throwing the parent birds aside as if they were debris.  He stuffed the eggs in a bag draped over his shoulder.  Once he was done, he bounced back into his boat, muttering and stammering to himself again.  He sounded quite satisfied with his haul.

Now, I am not adverse to bird eggs when the opportunity arises, but I would never steal so callously from these creatures.  This human-thing made me angry.  I flipped my tail, causing waves to thump against his boat.  He grumbled and pulled his ropes closer to him, pushing his engine to growl harder.  I guess he wanted to go faster, but his boat was not able to do so.

The whispers began from the back of my skull.  My Gran, my great-grandmother, had used to tell me stories from the days of humans.  She had told me of our kind and how we could ensnare such creatures and bend them to our will.  She had told me many stories.  Some of our kind had kept their humans as pets until they eventually wore out.  Usually, they were merely food.

I found the scent of this one too foul, but in my armored heart, I felt pity for the martyred mother and father birds this thing had treated so shamefully.  I felt the need to avenge them…

I pushed myself up above the surface of the water and began the Call that Gran had carefully taught me so long ago.  I spread my fins wide, sweeping over the surface, allowing my pheromones to coat the top of the water.  It took only seconds for the creature to turn around and stare at me.

I do not know what he saw.  Gran told me these man-things would see whatever it was they wanted to see when they looked at us.  The creature’s eyes grew huge.  A strange looked covered his face.  Water dribbled from his open gaping mouth.  I shuddered in disgust but maintained my ruse.

The man-thing hopped into the water, as if he were hopping up onto the land to steal the birds’ eggs once again.  He plunged into my waters.  I struck quickly, without mercy.  I tore him frantically to shreds.  Blood flooded out, drawing the attention of the bigger predators.  I allowed them to feed, stroking their quivering sides as they did.  I would not eat this flesh.  I could not bring myself to it.  The predators fed well; then the bottom feeders came to finish off the scraps.  Such is the way of life here.

I went looking for the eggs.  Perhaps I would eat them.  Perhaps I would return them to their parents.  I had yet to decide.  Alas, it was to no avail.  I could not hear the tinny engine.  The boat had vanished.  Perhaps a much larger predator than I had been aware of had helped itself to that tidbit.  Ahh, well.

As I curled up in a dusty corner of the abandoned lairs, it struck me that if I had the Power to do this to a human, a Land-dweller—perhaps it would work on others who come from the Land.  I was missing my own home.  Even if the Power proved ineffective on some creatures, I had proven to be strong, cruel, and relentless in my time out here.

I made up my mind to return to my own home.  The next emissary who showed up at my door was in for a drastic surprise.  I hope there are plenty of meat-eaters at home still because I wouldn’t eat those creatures any more than I would a human.

A Deal With God

Don’t look at me like that.  I know what you’re thinking.  I bear His shield.  I wear His uniform.  No longer do I belong to the one you call God.  I am no angel.

Originally, in the early days, when He recruited me, as He did with so many—of my kind and others—there was no greater gift than to be a part of His Inner Circle, to be a part of His plan.  To know His love was to melt into the concept of beatific Oneness with all that is.  I gave myself, my entire being, to Him, to His Great Work.  To do His Will gave my life purpose.

Let me make this crystal clear, the war that came—He had known about, from the moment of its conception.  He calmly watched the sedition grow and spread throughout the ranks.  He knew each one that was involved—and each one that was not.  There were no secrets from him.

He sent legions of us out on specified tasks.  Many of us flew to the far corners on His Word, carrying His Message, doing His work.    All over this world—He Sent Us.

While I was out on my mission, like all too many just like me, the riffraff launched their coup to overtake Him.  He threw them out, every one.  Then He slammed the Gate shut.  He closed the curtains.

He decreed henceforth any of us, any of us, outside of the Gate the moment the lock clicked into place were Banished, Cast Out, Fallen, Unwanted.

Me?  Me.  One of the countless left outside that Gate who had dedicated our every thought, our every breath, our entire beings, to this creature.  We who had never held a dark thought towards Him in our hearts, not ever.

We were, to a one, shamed, ostracized, condemned without trial, ridiculed, and ignored by those who we had thought our brethren.

I arrived at the gate to hear my own brother shouting “Fallen Whore” at me, over and over, jeering at me for not being Clean, for not being permitted to ever enter within once more.

My own brother, who had stood shoulder to shoulder with me as He had handed out our assignments.  I guess my brother was one of the lucky ones who finished his job quickly and returned in time to shun the rest of us.  I still wonder if he had had more information than he had shared with me.

It no longer matters.

I made a deal with God—and then He screwed me over without a second thought, even though He knew I was blameless, guiltless and innocent of all crimes.  He set me up.  Me, and many others, but I hold a grudge that makes that original crime against Him look piteous and small.

Like some kind of conciliatory act by Him, I still retain my rank, my powers.  All of we Fallen do, so it’s not as if it is just me.  But, to the naked eye of one of His Chosen, I do not appear any different than they do.

I look just like everyone else up there that can get close to Him.

I have no contact with other Fallen.  I did in the First Days after being cast out, but my hurt and my anger deemed it necessary for me to walk away from them, for their own protection.

I tried to tell the others, the Chosen, what had happened to me, to many of us, but my tale fell on deaf ears—which only incited me more.  Instead, they felt bold enough to throw epitaphs my way, to belittle and denigrate me.  They were the deciding factor.  They proved to me that I could no longer be Good.

If I can’t be Good, my only choice is to be Bad.  I always go full-bore with everything I do.  I went Bad, very very bad.  I am so good at it too.  I have more fun now than I ever did under His rule.

I have become a Hunter.  I hunt God’s Chosen Ones.  Angels.  Cherubs.  Messengers.  Guides.  Gods. Goddesses.  The Mouthpieces.  The frauds, the lot of them.

I don’t kill them.  Where’s the fun in that?

I don’t beat them, much.  Only enough to net them and take them down.

I sell them to the highest bidders.  Humans.  Demons.  Monsters.  Other Angels.  What do I care?  The only thing I know is no matter who I sell them off to, they all wish they were dead as soon as the money changes hands.

The money?  It means nothing.  I give it to animal sanctuaries and save the earth foundations.  I don’t need it

One day, there will come a Reckoning between God and Me.  I have learned throughout the Millennia.  I have trained, with the best and with the worst.  I have studied my opponent.  I know His strengths and His weaknesses.

I know His arrogance, above all other things, knows no bounds.

That is my ticket in.

He is too sure of Himself to think I would come for Him.  I want His head on a platter.  I know he won’t lift a finger against me.  He hasn’t in all this Time—He thinks He is safe from me.

Oh no.  I take away His minions, one by one, consigning them away to a life worse than any hell—to make Him suffer their loss.  To make Him feel their pain, just for that moment, before He releases His hold over them and allows them too to Fall.

One day…He will be mine.  He will be.




Once upon a time, I was but a girl.  What did I know of the world?  He came to me, in the guise of a friend, who turned into a lover.  But not the kind I wanted.  I tried to leave, discretely, but he would have none of that.  I resigned myself to my fate; little did I know what he had in store.

I woke up one morning a shadow of my former self.  I had gone from flesh and blood girl to cloth and rag and yarn.  My purple button eyes never missed a thing.  I kept track of everything I saw, everything I heard.  It wasn’t all that difficult as he called me his favorite voodoo doll.

In time, he began to use me in ritual work, imbuing me with powers I never thought to dream of.  He thought that once his work finished, the power went where he told it.  Doll I may be, but my soul still lives on.  Unable to move or talk, I still have power of my own.  I refused to relinquish any drop of any nourishment that came my way.

I let the years pass as I grew stronger, as I practiced my own spellwork.  I watched him…and then I worked to thwart his spells from the inside.  He thought he had arrived at the end of his journey, thought his powers waning.  He sought to make deals with devils and demons, all of whom gave me sly smiles.  They knew I wanted none of them.  Still, they took his deals and twisted them to his own desires.  I kept usurping his power.

The day came I called upon my own powers while he lay abed, his dreams nightmares coursing through his veins.  In silence I birthed myself, slithering out of that tiny cloth body covered in the ichor in which he had smothered me for years.

I stood there before him, naked and shameless, watching him twitch and jerk through his sleep.  The thought of slashing his throat…of cutting out his heart…of … so many wild cruel deaths…galloped through my own heart…but in the end, I knew the cruelest thing I could do would be to leave him to pay his debts to the demons.  Without me there any longer as a cushion, his bargains required payment in full…and his didn’t have much of a soul left after so long in the Black.

I kissed his forehead as he slept.  Not as a sign of forgiveness, but because every day man should have something good to take with him on his journey to hell.




Grays shook me awake.

“Wake up, Kya.” He said. “I had a horrible Dream about you.”  He shook me again.  ‘Please.”

Half-conscious yet, I sort of grumbled something in his general direction as I attempted to roll over and return to sleep.

“No!”Another shake for me.  “Please, Kya.  Please.”

I love my little brother, so I managed to peel my eyelids open to glare at him.  I raised an eyebrow at him to continue…that was the best I could do.

He crawled into bed alongside me and began telling his tale.

“Mummy says my dreams come true, Kya.  I had a True Vision tonight.  About you.

I walked through the Mist.  On the beach stood three men.  Brothers.

One brother saw your skin laid out over a rock to dry.  He stole your skin and ran away with it.

He hid it deep in a cave, where he thought no one would ever find it.  Especially not his brothers.

But then the second brother.  He went swimming in the Ocean.  He swam down into Barrington Cavern—and when he came up for air, he ended up inside his brother’s cave.  He found your skin there—he took it out with him.

With gentle hands, he cleaned your skin.  Wiping away dirt and brushing off debris.

He kept your skin under his pillow for a time.  Safe and sound.

The third brother walked the beach.  Back and forth.  Back and forth.  Pacing.  He would stop and stare out at the Sea before walking once again.

The second brother came to him on the beach and just handed him your skin.  He just gave it to him and walked away.

The third brother stood before the ocean with your skin in his hands.  He waited and waited.  Eventually, you came out of the water.  He took your hand and you went away with him.

Kya, I don’t want you to go away.  Not with that man.  Not with anyone.”

More awake now, I gave my brother a quick hug to reassure him a bit.    “Is there no more to your dream?’

Grays said no.

“I’ve had the same Dream you have.  For nearly a year now.  My Dream goes further.

I go with the third brother willingly.

I give him my heart.  I bear his children.  We build a home, a life together.  Then out of nowhere, he falls in love with another and we, his children and I, are cast aside as if we are nothing.

But he cannot bear to lose me completely.  he chops my skin to pieces and scatters most of the pieces around the world’s oceans.

He takes one piece for himself that he has made into a bracelet that he wears constantly.

He has a necklace made for me, a pendant of my own skin for me to wear around my neck.

I am bound, but also free.  I come and go as I please.  It’s not so bad as all that.”

“I don’t want you to go at all.”  Tears glowed in Grays’s eyes.

“What must be, must be, my brother.”

I draw him into my arms, rocking and cuddling him.

“I’ve already met the first brother,”  I tell him.  “The rest is just a matter of Time.”



Repost From Sisters Of Wyrd: Chapter Four : The Whisper

Maria sat off in a corner of the dark room. Dust tickled her nose. She twirled the thick braid of fringe from the pale curtain’s edge in her fingers. She wasn’t sure why she had been brought to the Great House this morning, but it didn’t feel good to her. Maria worried; had she done something wrong? Was she breaking rules she didn’t know about and didn’t understand? She heaved a sigh and wriggled back farther onto the settee. If she could have blended into the worn velvet fabric, she would have been just fine as pie. That didn’t happen though. Maria felt extraordinarily conspicuous.

Shadows coalesced near here, forming themselves into a staggering Caravaggio-inspired angel. Dark wings. Tall brooding eyes with such a knowing twinkle in them. Maria closed her eyes. The magnitude of that being, so close in proximity, shook her very soul to the core. He was too much to take in. Maria took quick shallow breaths until she heard the odd pop noise that announced he had fully materialized and now prepared to speak to her.


She opened her eyes to find herself staring downwards, noticing every detail of his bare feet. A part of her smiled inside to notice glints of glitter on his toenails.

He reached out and with his finger pulled Maria’s face up, her gaze up to meet his. Under her chin burned where his finger pressed her flesh. Maria choked on whatever word her body and brain were attempting to force out. The angel smiled. “Shhhhhhh.” Now his fingertip seared her lips as he hushed her. “You need not speak here, beloved Maria.”

Tears grew in her eyes. A strange heat began to circulate through her limbs. Her bladder pressed urgently for a release. Maria drew in a shaky breath, closing her eyes for a moment to recalibrate, praying it was permissible, trying to control herself before she peed all over the angel’s immaculate sparkly feet.

She looked him in the eye, cautious as a mouse in front of a hawk. She couldn’t speak, so she nodded.

His smile intoxicated her; the glimmer of clown in his eye taunted her. “The Lady has spoken to you this morning?” He knew she had. The Lady had sent him here to impress upon Maria the need for obedience and secrecy once above ground again. Again, Maria nodded, her hands twisting knots of themselves in her lap.

Now brisk, the angel outlined the highlights of the conditions of her return, and of her limitations. He spoke for some time. Maria’s brain swirled, a cyclone lost at sea and now in some monster’s grasp.

After he finished, the angel leaned over, stroked her hair out of her eyes, caressed her cheek with his lips, then whispered some parting words in her ear.

As the angel vanished, Maria slid to the floor, wetting herself in the process. All her mind kept telling her was you won’t be the same, you won’t be the same, you won’t be the same.

It all changes here. It all changes now. Salty copper filled Maria’s mouth as she bit her tongue once her head bounced off the dull old carpet.

That was the last she knew.